Without sound, there was a heavy emphasis on make – up, adding to the horror and preparing the first convention, which is the reveal of the monster. Facial expressions and body language played big part in early horror movies as it provided the tension. A second convention was the ‘dark property in the middle of nowhere,’ using isolation as a way to build up tension. Through the talkies in the 30’s little changed (except sound). The 1950’s and 60’s focused on sci-fi, B movies and Hammer horror, often known as the ‘Atomic Phase.’ Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Alien at the Arctic Circle and The Thing (1951) are good examples.
Throughout cinema, there has always been space in our hearts for the gore and intrigue that come from horror films. Though they come with different plots, there remains “the monster”, the character that brings along disgust, horror, suspense, and even sympathy. In Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), our monster is Norman Bates, the boy next door. This was one of the first times in American cinema that the killer was brought home, paving the way for the future of horror movies. According to Robin Wood in “An Introduction to the America Horror Film” (183-208), Bates follows the formula of the Monster being a human psychotic.
Di Muzio (2006) emphasizes dark themes, plot and ways society’s consumption to gore can lead to a sadistic lifestyle in one of his studies and critiques on the horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre, whereas views conveyed by King (2007) towards the genre are simply recreational and meant for adrenalin addicts. Ear piercing screams, blood splatters, loneliness, violence and isolated surroundings are only a handful of the themes mentioned in the analysis by Di Muzio in the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre. These themes haunt the viewers significantly and especially children. The movie starts on a glorious note of friends united for a trip, only to see one their friend “struck on the head with a sledgehammer.” (Di Muzio, 2006, p. 279) This sets a tone of the unexpected and the directors emphasize greatly on scenes with numerous screams with utilizing blood to frighten their viewers. Fear is the product of our thoughts, it is temporary, but numerous individuals fail to realize the reality.
Horror finally became horror with the slasher movie era. They became realistic but also they became more stylised. Based on a real life tragic such as, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Halloween (1978) and Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) screens where awash with blood. This is where we see male psycho, the unwilling hero and teenage trouble. There are also soul survivors that carry the seque... ... middle of paper ... ...horror so it is a bit of both but compared to the horrors that we have now with all the blood and gore special effects that make it better and the 3d its nothing like the horror’s today.
Horror movies are based on humanity’s disturbing, inner thoughts that are kept hidden by sophisticated and civilized facades. The fact that people pay money to go watch their own race be slaughtered shows that civilization has two sides. There are many theories as to why humans act the way they do, such as Steven King’s “beast within” and “potential lyncher” theories and Stanley Solomon’s “exploration” and “romantic isolationism” theories. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 does a fantastic job of displaying these theories about the horror genre if one knows what they are looking for. Learning about why humans react the way they do to horror films based on the theories of well-known psychologists and horror writers can teach humans a lot about themselves.
This being is the antagonist. The antagonist brings a great aspect to every horror movie especially because it can change forms. An example of it changing forms is in The Boy. Most of the film the wooden doll is seen as the antagonist, but in the end there is actual human being living behind the walls that is the real antagonist (The Boy). The antagonist is an absolute must in any horror film because without it there is nothing to provide a horrifying experience for the protagonist.
Typically, ghost or supernatural phenomenon was the main theme of the horror film. These supernatural characters have something in common, that they are mostly the spirit of discriminated and lower class females. At the end of movie, the main reason why these ghost show up or possess someone’s bodies was revealed, since main character; usually males, identify the offender who killed the spirits. Finally, the evil disappears and every social order operates as usual. To investigate the prevalence of female monsters in horror movies, it would be explained by borrowing the idea of ‘repression model’ stated by Robin Wood.
Horror movies throughout history reflect society; its fears, events and over all state. It’s no coincidence that after some devastating event in history happens, a strain of horror movies emerge in its path: “The fright genre has traditionally flourished in straitened times. Weimar Germany, the Great Depression and the 1970s oil crisis all coincided, not so coincidentally, with new waves of innovative, inventive nightmare visions that hold up a mirror to their eras just as much as the po-faced social-realist dramas of the day” (Billson). Horror movies thrive off the current events because it’s channeling the fears society. In the article “We’re All Dirty Harry Now”, Riegler says that “violent movie genres fed on political and social turmoil” (18), using societies fears to their advantage.
Freddy Krueger took the center stage and with him a new era of horror films began. This horribly scarred man who wore a ragged slouch hat, dirty red-and-green striped sweater, and a glove outfitted with knives at the fingers reinvented the stalker genre like no other film had. Fred Krueger breathed new life into the dying horror genre of the early 1980’s. Horror films are designed to frighten the audience and engage them in their worst fears, while captivating and entertaining at the same time. Horror films often center on the darker side of life, on what is forbidden and strange.
Driven by filmgoers’ fascination for thrills and chills, the horror genre has continued to scare, entertain and induce nightmares into all that succumb to the genre. Taking influence from the Victorian gothic novel, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein (1819), horror is one of the most recognisable film genres thanks, in part, to the codes and conventions practiced during the production process of horror filmmaking. Film codes and conventions refer to ‘the rules by the which narrative is governed’ (Hayward, p 68), how film techniques are implemented to distinguish a films genre. This critical analysis aims to analyse one sequence from Sam Raimi’s 1982-film, ‘The Evil Dead’, and James Watkins 2012-film, ‘The Woman in Black’. Discussions will be made relating to the codes and conventions found in each film in which includes: iconography, mise-en-scene, cinematography, montage and sound, to emphasize that both films as fitting representations of the horror genre.